Brough Superior - Records
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Brough Superior D2-492-72-07
Photo ou archives : M. Woollett

Capacity : 1000
Model : Records
Production : 1937 - 1937
Category : (R) Racing- Record


1000 JAP Record-Breaker / Eric Fernihough - 1937

Freelance record-breaker

Between 1936 and 1939, Eric Fernihough made a series of solo assaults – opposed by works riders such as Ernst Henne of BMW and Piero Taruffi of Gilera on the world motorcycle speed records. "Ferni" was already an accomplished rider when he decided to go for the supreme record in 1936.

Sprint Victory

In 1935, Femihough set a new Brooklands lap record of 123.6 mph with a 998cc JAP V-twin in a 1927 Brough Superior frame. In 1936, he added a supercharger and won the two-wheeler class in the Brighton Speed Trials with a terminal speed of 149 mph for the standing half-mile.

In Search of Records

Then he set off to the German autobahns in search of records. Despite ignition problems, which spoiled his attempt on the flying kilometre record, he set a new standing kilometer record of 95.2 mph. When the German authorities refused to close the autobahn in 1936, Fernihough set off to Budapest. He failed in his attempt to beat Henne's record, but set a new standing kilometer sidecar record of 80.5 mph. He improved its fairing and returned in 1937, with his assistant John Rowland, to Hungary, where he set a world record with a speed of 169.8 mph; he also set a new sidecar speed record of 137.1 mph. In 1938, Ferni attempted to regain his record, which Taruffi and Henne had both broken, Henne at 173.6 mph. But the attempt was fatal – Ferni fell at

full speed, probably because the streamlining caused his front wheel to lift.


Engine: 996cc (80x99mm) air-cooled 50-degree V-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 135 hp @ 6000 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: single carburetor

Transmission: Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: Castle type forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 28 inch Dunlop tires (from & rear)

Weight: 445 lb (solo), 620 lb (with sidecar, including 144 lb of ballast)

Maximum Speed: 180 mph (solo), 140 mph (with sidecar)

Eric Fernibough smiles proudly after setting a new world speed record of 169.8 mph on his supercharged Brough Superior at Gyon in 1937.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
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François-Marie Dumas

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